Rick Zieger - Feb 6, 2017

I have a friend that lets me fish on his ponds as long as the cattle are not in the fields. He called me up and said that he wanted to go out fishing, for a fish fry. He wanted me to go along to make sure that enough fish were caught. We rode into the pond on his tractor. We had a heavy rain two days before and the low spots with good size ponds. He said he knew his big tractor would make it, but was not sure about anything else. We got into the pond and there was still a great deal of water coming into the pond from the pastureland around it. The water in the pond was off color but I could see down about three feet.

I ask him where he wanted to start and when he tells me so I head off in another direction. This way we were not on top of each other. He was fish shallow water and I was fishing about six to seven feet of water. I started with a black fur tailed mohair leech and a white sparkle eyelash yarn fly. I cast the black fly first and had no response, and I cast the white fly and got two decent crappie on it.

I moved to a little deeper water and tried this again. I got a few more nice crappie on each fly in that area. The fly had to be about a foot to a foot and a half deep. I could not feel the strikes, but if the line twitched it was time to do a hook set.

I moved a few feet and tried this again. Bringing the fly in somewhat perpendicular to the break line seemed to be the ticket. I got a few more fish on each fly in that area so I tried a few more casts and let the fly go about three feet deep. I picked up another nice crappie on this, but not nearly as much action as being shallower.

I ask my friend how he was doing and he had not caught much so I told him to come down where I was fishing. He casts out with a jig head and twisted tail and he began to get a few fish. I told him we needed to move a little way and try again. He did not move until I had caught three fish at the next place. He did not think that 12 to 15 feet could make that much difference.

Curiosity got me. So I had him cast where I had been fishing. He picked up a few more fish. Then we moved again and he cast first. He caught a few fish and then I tried the spot. I picked up a few fish in this same place.

We continued on around the pond. He told me that he would out fish me now that he knew where the fish were. That was fine by me. He headed off out in front of me and fished the areas first. I let him get out ahead about 40 feet and let me fish water that was almost undisturbed.

I was retrieving the fly when I sneezed and I did a real fast jerk on the fly line. That resulted in a nice crappie hitting the fly. With the fish in the basket, then on the next retrieve I give a sharp jerk on the line and another nice crappie came to hand.

I fished the next several minutes using the sharp jerk retried and a very slowly strip and pause retrieve. I caught about the same number of fish using each technique, but I caught larger crappie when I used the sharp jerk.

My friend let me know that he probably needed to leave. By the time he took care of the fish and then checked his cattle it would be time to stop for the day.

When we got to his house I helped him fillet his fish. He also was not sure that he had enough fish for their fly so I gave him fish until he thought he had enough. I still had lots of fish to take care of and plenty of fillets to share.

He called later to ask how many I had brought home. Told me it was not nice to out fish your host, but we would have to try this again.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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